SỞ GIÁO DỤC VÀ ĐÀO TẠO ĐỒNG NAI
Đơn vị: Trường THPT Chuyên Lương Thế Vinh
Mã số: ................................
SÁNG KIẾN KINH NGHIỆM
HOW TO TEACH VOCABULARY
Người thực hiện: TRƯƠNG MỸ LINH
Lĩnh vực nghiên cứu:
- Quản lý giáo dục
- Phương pháp dạy học bộ môn: Tiếng Anh
- Lĩnh vực khác:
Năm học: 2014-2015
SƠ LƯỢC LÝ LỊCH KHOA HỌC
I. THÔNG TIN CHUNG VỀ CÁ NHÂN
1. Họ và tên: TRƯƠNG MỸ LINH
2. Ngày tháng năm sinh:04/10/1968
3. Nam, nữ: Nữ
4. Địa chỉ: 82 Đặng Đức Thuật, P. Tam Hiệp, Biên Hòa, Đồng Nai
5. Điện thoại: 3813378 (NR);
7. Chức vụ:
8. Nhiệm vụ được giao: Giảng dạy và chủ nhiệm lớp chuyên Anh
9. Đơn vị công tác: Trường THPT Chuyên Lương Thế Vinh
II. TRÌNH ĐỘ ĐÀO TẠO
Học vị cao nhất: Thạc sỹ
Năm nhận bằng: 2007
Chuyên ngành đào tạo: Phương pháp giảng dạy
III. KINH NGHIỆM KHOA HỌC
Lĩnh vực chuyên môn có kinh nghiệm: giảng dạy Tiếng Anh
Số năm có kinh nghiệm: 25 năm
Các sáng kiến kinh nghiệm đã có trong 5 năm gần đây:
Theme-based vocabulary building
The Effects of group work on teaching and learning reading
How to help gifted students do project work
HOW TO TEACH VOCABULARY EFFECTIVELY
Vocabulary is the most fundamental factor in learning a language.
Almost every skill in the language learning process requires learners
to have ample and good vocabulary. There is a quote that “Without
grammar, very little can be conveyed; without vocabulary, nothing can
be conveyed”, which truly proves the significance of vocabulary.
Vocabulary is essential and necessary for building up a good command
of the language. Without good vocabulary, it is unlikely that learners
could use the language correctly and with confidence. It is the first and
most fundamental aspect a language learner must master before
developing his or her language skills.
Good vocabulary is important for passive skills (reading and
listening). It enhances learners’ comprehension and understanding of
the language, both in literal and figurative sense.
Good vocabulary is also important for active skills (writing and
speaking). Every English conversation that is marked by some idioms
and phrasal verbs helps learners’ expressions becomes clear,
interesting and more native-speaker-like. Essays marked by the good
use of academic vocabulary make learners’ writing become more
formal for important purposes.
All in all, vocabulary is the core of language learning. It is important
for language comprehension and expression. Moreover, on a more
advanced level of language learning, e.g. as a student majoring in
English, a fluent and impressive use of vocabulary in examinations
can be the standard to distinguish the excellent students from the good
ones. Vocabulary could be used as an instrument to measure learners’
language ability as well as their fluency.
However, it is not easy to gain vocabulary at all. It is painstaking,
demanding lots of efforts. Most language learners have a question
“How do they study vocabulary efficiently and effectively?”
Everything has its own difficulty, and learning vocabulary is no
exception. There are some common obstacles that language learners
often encounter when they learn vocabulary.
The first is retention problem. Vocabulary is hard to learn by heart and
easy to forget. Some students said, “Vocabulary just can’t go inside
my head” or “Water off the duck’s back.”
The second difficulty that students cope with is the inability to use the
words that have been learned. Students may find some words
confusing. How to use words in correct contexts seems to be a big
The difficulty that often crops up very early in students’ learning
process is that they are exposed to a vast amount of vocabulary. It is
hard to prioritize a suitable range of vocabulary over the rest at certain
stages of learning.
Thus, it is both the importance of vocabulary in language learning and
the problems the students may encounter when learning vocabulary
that enhance the approach to teaching vocabulary effectively.
RATIONALE OF THE STUDY
Research has long shown that vocabulary plays a critical role in learning
to read and comprehend text and, therefore, in children’s success in
school (Biemiller, 2003; David, 1942; Whipple, 1925). Not only does
vocabulary improve reading comprehension, as research has confirmed
(Nagy,1998), but it also supports students’ writing and speaking, as well
as learning in the content areas.
Theme-based vocabulary building represents a vast resource of
vocabulary items including collocations and idiomatic expressions not
easily retrievable from a standard dictionary. Research has shown that
learners need to meet a word at least 7 times before they know it properly.
Doing exercises, practicing words and expressions that learners have
already encountered, is a useful way of helping themselves to fix the
vocabulary they are working on in their long-term memory.
The value of direct instruction
Researchers agree that although extensive reading is important to
vocabulary growth, direct instruction is more effective and more efficient
than incidental learning in achieving deeper, richer levels of lasting
vocabulary understanding (McKeown & Beck, 1988). Stahl and
Fairbanks (1996) recommend using a definitional and contextual
approach to direct instruction, and Nagy (1988) recommends including
integration, repetition, and meaningful use.
The value of contextual learning of vocabulary
Research has shown that for vocabulary instruction to be effective, it
must not only provide definitions, but also demonstrate how words are
used in natural contexts (Nagy, 1988). Many researchers also agree that
much of vocabulary growth occurs indirectly through language exposure.
The value of providing multiple exposures to words
If students are truly to gain ownership of new words, vocabulary
instruction must provide multiple and varied encounters with those words
(Daniels, 1996; Leung, 1992; Senechal, 1997; Stahl & Fairbanks, 1986).
Research also suggests other practices that should inform the way
vocabulary is taught in the classroom; these include using multiple
methods of instruction and actively engaging students in word learning.
Any word that is introduced should continue to be provided in a variety
of contexts to reinforce and enrich students’ understanding (Beck &
The value of building vocabulary through word study
According to Put Reading First (Armbruster, Lehr, & Osborn, 2001),
children need to develop strategies that include using word parts to figure
out the meanings of words in text and also using context clues. According
to Aranoff (1994), word structure helps to determine the meaning of an
unfamiliar word that is derived from the same stem as a familiar word.
Students benefit when they are taught to use and analyse word parts such
as prefixes, suffixes, and roots (Dale & O’Rourke, 1986; Nagy & Scott,
2000). In fact, research has shown that if students know the meaning of
the four most frequently used prefixes, they will have useful clues about
the meaning of approximately two-thirds of all English words containing
The value of exposing students to nuances of language
According to Beck and McKeown (1988), instruction that offers rich
information about words and their uses enhances students’ language
comprehension and production. Effective instruction should integrate
instructed words with other knowledge, including how words relate to
one another and how words relate to real-world and personal experiences
The process was implemented from Grade 10 to Grade 12.
32 students of the English class of Luong The Vinh Gifted High school
took part in the study. They were chosen as the participants of the study
They all major in English.
They have strong desire to enrich their vocabulary.
They have to go in for some important English contests for the
gifted in which vocabulary is the core of all language skills.
The lessons were taught after every Unit in the textbook, as further
The Vocabulary lesson must have the same topic as the Unit in the
textbook so that the students can easily enlarge their vocabulary of the
same theme. It is suitable for use in class and for self-study in view to
developing as well as reviewing the vocabulary that the students have
studied in the textbook.
The exercises included in each lesson are varied:
- A reading passage:
+ Students are asked to read a passage and will pay attention to the context
of the highlighted words. Teachers also help students access their prior
knowledge of the theme or topic of the passage. This will help improve
students’ comprehension and figure out the word meanings as well.
+ Depending on the needs of individual students, teachers provide students
with a brief explanation of each new word.
+ Teachers guide students’ focus and comprehension by having them
answer key questions about the story.
+ Teachers invite some students to summarize the story.
+ Teachers encourage students to make more connections to the words so
that they can easily remember the words and interact with them in other
+ Students are given concise definitions and examples of usage and then
exercise sets in which they see and use the words in a variety of contexts.
To promote retention, students must interact with each word five times over
the course of a lesson.
+ Teachers can have a brief discussion about part of speech of some words
to help students increase their understanding of the definition and word use
and point out some words with different parts of speech and with more than
+ Students are encouraged to use the words in their speaking and writing.
- Match the meaning:
+ Teachers help students process the meanings of the words from the
lesson, interact with the words and relate them to their own experiences.
+ Students have to think about the meaning of each choice before choosing
the answer indicated by the clue.
- Synonyms and Antonyms:
+ The exercises help students expand their vocabulary, revisit and discuss
the synonyms and antonyms given in the Definitions.
+ Teachers encourage students to use some of the words in sentences and
relate them to their own experiences.
+ Teachers have students begin a Vocabulary Notebook in which they can
write the meaning of the new words and add to them as they learn more
about the words.
- Completing the sentence:
+ The exercises remind students of some words with more than one
meaning. Students are exposed to a variety of contexts that represents as
fully as possible the semantic range and application of the word.
+ Teachers guide students to figure out the intended meaning by using the
context clues. The tip is that context clues in sentences can be before or
after an unfamiliar word or sometimes a single word located within the
+ The exercises are comprised of sentence completions and questions, each
containing a highlighted word in the lesson, which helps students continue
to build on the meaning of the words introduced in the lesson.
+ Students are asked to connect the word in the lesson to another word or
+ Word Study can be Multiple-meaning Words, Context Clues, Analogies,
Confusing Words, Suffixes, Prefixes, Roots, or Homophones which teaches
word-learning strategies and also provides instructions on topics that can
help students build their vocabulary.
Shades of Meaning:
+ The exercises focus on analyzing idioms, proverbs and figurative
+ Students are provided with opportunities to interact with word meanings
on a deeper level, which helps them recognize the importance of word
A test including Vocabulary for Comprehension (reviewing words from the
previous lessons in the context of a passage), Classifying (identifying a
missing word from words that are alike in some way) and Completing the
Idea (completing sentence stems that contain taught words) is given to
students after every three lessons.
SAMPLE LESSON (see Appendix)
The lesson was designed to be taught after the students had finished Unit 10 in
the Textbook – Grade 10.
The teacher dedicated 4 periods to the lesson.
After the three-year implementation process of vocabulary teaching, the
researcher has found the interest as well as the achievements of the
students in learning vocabulary. They have benefited a lot from what they
have learned. The effects on the students’ achievements are positive and
long-lasting, regardless of level.
Having exposed to sets of exercises including Word Association, Word
pairs, Idioms, Theme-based vocabulary… the students realized that their
language skills were improved. Using word pairs could help their talk
sound more like a native speaker, which is aim for those who want to
master English. Quite much the same as word pairs, idioms, proverbs are
also familiar terms to English learners. Mastering them is difficult, and
knowing how to use them properly in correct contexts is more difficult.
That the students have learned them carefully and are able to use them
appropriately is the sign that they has started to gain mastery in English.
It is theme-based vocabulary that enables the students to start up and
maintain conversations in every topic. Life is a diverse range of topics,
and a good knowledge about theme-based vocabulary is important for the
students’ speaking and writing.
The students understand thoroughly and profoundly certain features of a
new word, such basic features as pronunciation, part of speech, literal and
figurative meanings. Then focus should be directed to the usage. The
students know how to combine words, learn and remember new
vocabulary by their phrases; not learning single words, for remembering
phrases is much easier.
The synonyms and antonyms also help the students to build up a
vocabulary reservoir that is well-organized. Moreover, organizing all the
words learned according to their similar and contrast meanings help save
tremendous amount of time and efforts for revision since one word can be
related easily to others.
Making good use of a vocabulary notebook is a helpful tool that makes
the students’ writing easier and more interesting.
Some of the students won prestigious prizes in many English contests
especially the National Contest. These students have gained ample and
good vocabulary resources that help them much in standardized tests or
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Learning as well as teaching vocabulary is not an easy task. It requires
patience, willingness and takes up time of students and teachers.
Teaching vocabulary effectively needs appropriate strategies. The
above approach of vocabulary teaching can be ideal for students
majoring in English. They really desire to enlarge their vocabulary to
prepare for their exams requiring all the four language skills. The
lessons can be implemented with a view to supporting as well as
enhancing what are taught in the textbook.
However, as mentioned above, this is a long-term strategy that the
teacher has to devote much time to. The teacher should carry out the
process continually to get the effectiveness of the method. Thus,
enough time must be provided for both the students and the teacher to
practice the strategies.
The selection of materials is indispensable for the successful execution
of this method. Therefore, it is advisable that the contents be
comparatively straightforward; topics should be interesting and close
to those in the textbooks.
Armbruster, B. B., Lehr, F., & Osborn, J. (2001).
Put reading first: The research building blocks for teaching children to
read , kindergarten through grade 3. Jessup, MD: Partnership for
Biemiller, A. (2003). Vocabulary: Needed if more children are to read
well. Reading Psychology, 24(3-4), 323-335.
Dale, E. &O’Rourke, J. (1986). Vocabulary building. Columbus, OH:
Daniels, M. (1996). Bilingual, bimodal education for hearing
kindergarten students. Sign Language Studies,90, 25-37.
Davis, F. B. (1942). Two new measures of reading ability. Journal of
Educational Psychology, 33, 365-372.
Leung, C. B. (1992). Effects of word-related variables on vocabulary
growth repeated read-aloud events. In C. K. Kinzer & D. J. Leu (Eds.),
Literacy research, theory, and practice: Views from many perspectives.
Forty-first Yearbook of the National Reading Conference (pp. 491-498).
Chicago, IL: The National Reading Conference.
McKeown, M. G., & Beck, I. L. (1998). Leaning vocabulary: Different
ways for different goals. Remedial and Special Education, 9(1), 42-46.
Nagy, W. E. (1998). Teaching vocabulary to improve reading
comprehension. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
Nagy, W. E., & Scott, J. A. (2000). Vocabulary processes. In M. L. Kamil,
P. G. Mosenthal, P. D. Pearson, & R. Barr (Eds.), Handbook of reading
research (Vol. III, pp. 269-284). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum
Seneschal, M. (1997). The differential effect of storybook reading on
preschoolers’ acquisition of expensive and receptive vocabulary. Journal
of Child Language, 24(1), 123-128.
Stahl, S. A., & Fairbanks, M. M. (1996). The effects of vocabulary
instruction: A model-based meta-analysis. Review of Educational
Research, 56(1), 72-110.
Whipple, G. (Ed.). (1925). The twenty-fourth yearbook of the national
society for the study of education: Report of the national committee on
reading. Bloomington, IL: Public School Publishing Company.
INTRODUCING THE WORDS
Read the following Russian folktale about some clever forest animals.
Notice how the highlighted words are used. These are the words you
will be learning in this unit.
Long ago, when the world was as fresh and new as a daffodil in
springtime, the animals faced a serious problem. Troublesome Bear was
ruining everything in their forest.
The songbirds were all terrified whenever Bear passed through the woods
in his usual clumsy way. He would blunder into branches, smashing the
birds’ fragile nests and eggs. Bear also crushed the hives of the bees and
stole their honey, so the bees had a continuous argument with him. Bear
squashed the tunnel-like homes of the gophers and the rabbits with his nig
feet, and in general caused so many disturbances that the animals couldn’t
relax. As angry as they were, however, the animals didn’t really want to
get into a scuffle with Bear. He was much too big and strong!
Desperate, the animals called a meeting to decide on a course of action.
“Why don’t we just ask Bear to be more considerate?” suggested Deer
Squirrel was quick to reject Deer’s idea. “That won’t work,” Squirrel
insisted, “because Bear never listens to anyone. I think he just enjoys
walking all over us!”
“Throw Bear in jail,” Rat shouted. “Force him to live a solitary life in a
jail cell and he won’t be able to injure and torment us ever again.”
The animals nodded in approval at this idea until Mouse pointed out an
obvious problem. “We don’t have a jail,” Mouse squeaked, “and if we
did, someone would have to feed Bear in his cell.” The very thought of
feeding Bear made all the animals shake in fear.
Other animals offered more ideas. Skunk suggested that Porcupine
distribute some of his extra sharp quills in Bear’s bed. Porcupine
suggested that Skunk send some smelly spray into Bear’s den. Neither
animal was brave enough to try the other’s plan, however, and the ideas
probably wouldn’t have worked anyway. Indeed, it looked as if there
were no solution to the problem, and the animals were about to cancel the
rest of their meeting.
Fortunately, at that moment, Eagle flew in like a bolt of lightning. The
animals cheered because Eagle was a veteran problem solver. Whenever
there was trouble in the forest, Eagle found a way to put an end to it. this
time, Eagle clutched a document in his sharp claws. “As we all know,”
Eagle thundered, “Bear can’t hurt anyone or destroy anything when he’s
asleep. This statement,” he said, waving the document, “requires Bear to
sleep from October to April every year. I hope you will all sign it!”
What a great idea! The animals read the document and added their names
to it. True, it didn’t get rid of Bear permanently, but it gave them
temporary relief. At the very least, the animals could look forward to
peace and quiet for six months of every year.
The myth doesn’t say how the animals gave their signed document to
Bear or what his reaction was to it. Who knows? Maybe he liked the
animals’ suggestion, for one thing is certain: Bear has been sleeping away
half the year ever since!
You were introduced to the words below in the passage. Study the
pronunciation, spelling, part of speech, and definition of each word. Write
the word in the blank in the sentence that follows. Then read the synonyms
(v) make a foolish or careless mistake; to move
clumsily and carelessly
I saw the hiker -------- through the woods.
(n) a serious or thoughtless mistake
I was terribly embarrassed by my --------.
SYNONYMS: (v) to err, foul up, bungle, goof; (n) an error, blooper
ANTONYMS: (v) to triumph, succeed; (n) a success, hit
(v) call off or do away with; to cross out
with lines or
other marks to show that something cannot be
Maybe the principal will -------- classes if it
continues to snow.
SYNONYMS: (v) to stop, discontinue, drop, repeal, revoke
ANTONYMS: (v) to renew, continue, extend, maintain
(a) going on without a stop or break
-------- TV coverage began shortly after news of the
SYNONYMS: ongoing, endless, ceaseless, unbroken, constant, perpetual
ANTONYMS: broken, discontinuous, interrupted
(v) give out in shares; scatter or spread
Our class will -------- leaflets announcing the school’s
SYNONYMS: divide, share, deal, issue
ANTONYMS: gather, collect, hold
(n) a written or printed record that gives
The librarian found the old -------- inside a book.
(v) give written or printed proof; support with evidence
Writers often -------- their sources.
SYNONYMS: (n) a certificate, deed; (v) prove, establish
(a) easily broken or damaged, requiring
The --------- antique was damaged during transit.
SYNONYMS: weak, frail, breakable, delicate, brittle, flimsy
ANTONYMS: sturdy, hardy, strong, rugged, tough
(n) an old story that explains why sth is; sth
The play is based on an ancient Greek ----------.
SYNONYMS: a legend, fable, tale, fantasy, fairy tale
ANTONYMS: a fact
(v) refuse to accept, agree to, believe, or
Why did you --------- the offer?
SYNONYMS: deny, discard, junk, scrap, decline,, dismiss
ANTONYMS: take, accept, receive, welcome
(v) fight or struggle closely with
A witness saw the two men ------- in an alley.
(n) fight or struggle
Police officers were called in to break up the ------.
SYNONYMS: (v) tussle, roughhouse, battle, brawl; (n) a fistfight, clash
(a) living or being alone; being the only one
The old man led a ------------ life.
SYNONYMS: single, sole, lone
ANTONYMS: sociable; several, many, numerous
(a) lasting or used for a limited time
A blow to the head can cause a ------ loss of memory.
SYNONYMS: short-term, passing, brief,, momentary
ANTONYMS: lasting, long-lived, permanent
(n) a former member of the armed forces; an
The army ------ listened attentively
(a) having much experience in some job or field
The actress will play a -------- reporter.
SYNONYMS: (a) expert, professional, experienced, skilled, accomplished
ANTONYMS: (n) a beginner, newcomer, novice, rookie
MATCH THE MEANING
For each item below, choose the word whose meaning is suggested by the
1. The roommate you have for only a month is a ------- one.
2. A black eye might the result of a -------.
3. To ------- your age you might show a birth certificate or a driver’s license.
4. A person who lives alone ------- in the woods might be described as -------.
5. The idea that you will get warts from touching a frog is a -------.
6. If I make a serious mistake, I commit a -------.
7. A box containing an item that can be broken easily might be stamped
8. A charity might ------- food to the homeless.
9. Something that goes on without stopping is -------.
10.To refuse a gift is to ------- it.
11.A person who has a lot of experience at something is a -------.
12.If I call off a party, I ------- it.
Choose the word that is most nearly the same in meaning as the word or
phrase in bold. Then write your choice on the line provided.
1. A constant flow of traffic
a. fragile b. temporary
d. veteran ______
2. tried to hide the blooper
d. scuffle ______
3. not a single cent
d. veteran ______
4. witnessed the fight
b. blunder c. document
d. scuffle ______
5. very important records
d. blunders ______
6. a collection of ancient stories
c. veterans d. blunders ______
Choose the word that is most nearly opposite in meaning to the word or
phrase in bold. Then write your choice on the line provided.
1. renew my subscription
b. blunder c. scuffle
d. distribute ______
2. accept the marriage proposal
d. distribute ______
3. a novice mountain climber
d. veteran ______
4. collect the homework sheets
b. document c. distribute
5. a sturdy device
b. solitary c. veteran
6. a permanent filling
b. continuous c. temporary
COMPLETE THE SENTENCE
Choose the word for the list that best completes each item below. You may
have to change the word’s ending.
blunder – cancel – continuous – distribute – document – fragile
myth – reject – scuffle – solitary – temporary – veteran
A Visit to a Museum
- Our class visited the museum on the last day of a(n) --------- exhibit of ancient
- Some of the vases were more than 2,000 years old. Because they were so old
and ---------, we weren’t allowed to touch them.
- Security guards kept visitors a few feet from the display cases, so there was
no chance that someone could --------- into them.
- The guide told us that the pictures painted on some of the vases were not of
real people but characters from legends and ---------.
- One picture showed a(n) --------- warrior fighting off a band of attackers.
A Famous Declaration
- In refusing to accept English rule, the writers of the Declaration of
Independence --------- the claim that Parliament had sovereignty, or lawful
power, over the American colonies.
- Those who supported the cause of American independence quickly printed
and --------- copies of the Declaration throughout the thirteen colonies.
- The original ---------, one of America’s historic treasures, is now on view at
the National Archives building in Washington, D.C.
On the Soccer Field
- Two days of --------- rain had turned the soccer field into a sea of mud and
threatened to spoil the opening game of the season.
- Before the game began, a --------- broke out in the stands when a few hometeam fans came to blows with those rooting for the visiting team.
- The referee threatened to --------- the game and send all of the fans home if
order was not restored.
- Only when a handful of popular --------- from both teams asked the fans to
behave themselves did they finally settle down and let the game get under
Choose the word or expression that best completes the sentence or
answers the question. Pay special attention to the word in bold.
1. A person might emerge from a scuffle
a. with spaghetti and meatballs.
b. with scrapes and bruises
c. with dollars and cents
d. with hugs and kisses
2. Someone who has blundered would
a. feel embarrassed.
b. be confident
c. feel proud
d. be rewarded.
3. A solitary tree would probably
a. have needles
b. be chopped down.
c. change color in the fall.
d. stand alone.
4. A continuous loud noise might
a. be hard to hear.
b. stop and start
c. be soothing
d. be annoying
5. Which of the following is a document?
a. an old friend
b. a telephone call
c. a marriage license
d. a good meal
6. If I cancel my piano lesson,
a. I don’t go
b. I play very well
b. I repair the piano
c. I arrive late
7. A temporary problem is one that
a. lasts a long time
b. goes away
c. no one can solve
d. anyone can solve
8. In a veteran’s closet you might find
a. a skateboard
b. a party dress
c. a box of marbles d. an old uniform
9. When a teacher distributes a test
a. he or she grades it
b. he or she loses it
c. he or she passes it out
d. he or she collects it.
10. Which of the following is usually fragile?
a. a hammer
b. a pair of scissors c. a light bulb
11.Someone who has been rejected
a. might feel hurt
b. might feel happy
c. might get lost
d. might get a cold
12.Which is a creature of myth?
a. a rabbit
b. a giraffe
c. a duck
d. a padlock
d. a dragon
WORD STUDY: Multiple-Meaning Words
Look at the table to find other examples of multiple-meaning words.
(n) an item of clothing worn when it is cold
(v) to cover a surface with something
(n) a safety routine
(n) a tool used to make holes in hard surfaces
(n) an outfit worn by members of a group
(a) hardly any or no difference
(n) a person who has served in the armed forces
(n) a person who has a lot of experience
PRACTICE: Choose the word from the table above that best completes
each sentence. Then write the number of the meaning.
Be sure to put on your --------- before you go out in the snow.
Our classroom is kept at a --------- temperature.
Our school has a fire --------- at least once a month.
The cook will --------- the pan with oil so the onions don’t stick.
APPLY: Complete each sentence so that it makes sense. Use the
multiple-meaning words from the table above. You may have to change
the word’s ending.
To hang the picture, we --------The floor will look shiny and new if I --------To show that we are members of the glee club, we --------After teaching for twenty-four years, the teacher --------Think of the multiple meanings for each word below. Then make
sentences with them.
Light(n) / light (v)
bend (v) / bend (n)
SHADES OF MEANING: Similies
Carina doesn’t understand some of the things that her pen-friend,
Grimelda, says. Help Carina by matching the idioms with their
Sleep like a log
Smoke like a
Eat like a horse
Drive like a
very pale / ill
madly / wildly
a lot, continuously
freely, without a care
soundly, very deeply
a lot at one time
Get on with
someone like a house on fire
Look like death
like it’s going out of fashion
What advice would you give in these situations?
1. My best friend smokes like a chimney. How can I get her to give up?
2. My best friend’s girlfriend treats him like dirt. It’s making him really
3. I love shopping, and I’m spending money like it’s going out of fashion.
How can I stop myself?
4. My father drives like a lunatic. I don’t want him to drive me to school
anymore. But he insists!
5. I’m really overweight. I eat like a horse – but I can’t stop!
6. I sleep like a log and I am frequently late for school.
7. Two of my friends get on like a house on fire. In fact, so much so that I
am the one who is left out of everything.
8. I’m worried about my best friend. She says nothing’s wrong, but she
looks like death warmed up
III. Carina thinks that Grimelda’s family is very strange. Help
Grimelda answer Carina’s questions.
1. Why do you have an astray on your roof?
2. Why is there a bed in your fireplace?
3. Why is there hay in your dining room?
4. Why do you phone the fire station before your best friend come round
to see you?
5. Why are you afraid of vacuum cleaners?
6. Why is there a psychiatrist in your father’s car?
7. Why is there a ghost sitting next to the radiator?
8. Why does your mother keep her cash in the wardrobe?
as bald as a coot
2. as black as coal / soot
dirty (a child’s hands, face or clothes)
3. as black as pitch
very dark (room, cellar, street without lights)
4. as blind as a bat
having bad eyesight
5. as bold as brass
impudent, shameless, showing a lot of confidence
6. as brave as a lion
7. as bright as a button
very clever; very happy and lively
8. as brown as a berry
having brown skin from being in the sun
9. as busy as a bee
busily occupied with many (usually enjoyable) activities, ...
10.as changeable as the weather unpredictable
11.as clean as a new pin
very clean and tidy, with no dust or dirt (a room)
12.as clear as a bell
clearly and easily heard
13.as clear as crystal / day(light) obvious, easy to realize / understand (situation)
14.as clear as mud
not at all clear or easy to understand (used ironically)
15.as cold as ice
16.as cool as a cucumber
calm and controlled at a time of upset, difficulty
17.as cunning as a fox
sly, planning secretly to one’s own advantage
18.as dead as a doornail
19.as deaf as a post
extremely deaf (used humorously)
20.as different as chalk from / and cheese very different in appearance, character
21.as drunk as a lord / newt
22.as dry as a bone
very dry, containing no moisture
23.as dull as ditch water
24.as dark as pitch / ink
very black / dark
25.as easy as ABC / pie / anything
easy to do / solve
26.as fit as a fiddle
in good physical condition, active
27.as flat as a pancake
very flat; sth that does not arouse the expected interest
28.as fresh as a daisy
lively; looking and feeling fresh
29.as gentle as a lamb
very gentle (used of a person or larger animal)
30.as good as gold
31.as greedy as a pig
32.as happy as a king /a lark/ the day is long in a carefree, contented mood;
having no worries
33.as hard as nails
physically tough; without feeling, ruthless in
dealing with others
34.as heavy as lead
35.as keen as mustard
36.as large as life
in person, in the flesh
37.as light as a feather / airhaving little weight; not heavy
38.as like as two peas (in a pod) very much alike in appearance
39.as mad as a hatter / a March hare abnormal in one’s behaviour, even insane
40.as miserable as sin
unhappy; in a dull mood
41.as near as dammit
very close, very nearly but not quite
42.as old as the hills very old (used to describe a story which everybody knows)
43.as plain as the nose on your face
obvious, easy to guess
44.as pleased as Punch
delighted, very happy about something
45.as poor as a church mouse